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Electric avenues - Capital Region festivals of trees

Electric avenues - Capital Region festivals of trees

Electric avenues - Capital Region festivals of trees
Members of Environmental Clearing House of New York decorate their tree at the Schenectady County Historical Society.

They've rolled out the holly at the Schenectady County Historical Society.

And merry bells are ringing at the YWCA of Schenectady.

The holiday season has arrived; so have festivals of trees - evergreens decorated with lights and ornaments - in the Capital Region.

"There are all different kinds," said Susanna Fout,  collections and exhibitions manager at the society, located at 32 Washington Ave. in Schenectady. "There are whimsical trees, beautiful trees, white lights, mixed Christmas color lights, all different kinds of themes."

The society will open its 2017 show Friday at 7 p.m., with the "Night of Lights." Behind-the-scenes tours, crafts, live music and food from Wagon Train BBQ, LaStrada Pizzeria & More and Villa Italia will be evening highlights. A raffle and cash bar will be others.

The YWCA, 44 Washington Ave., partners with the society during tree season. Admission to one festival includes admission to the other, and the YWCA will also be part of the "Night of Lights" celebration.

Fifty trees will be lighted during the festivals.

Opening night will be a $15 admission. For the rest of the run, which lasts through Sunday, Dec. 17, adult admission to the festivals will be $6. Children under 12 will be free.

Fout said the festival, at 12 years old, is the society's longest running fundraiser. At 17 days, it's also the longest fundraising exhibition of the year.

Delft ornaments, imported from Holland, will be sold at the society again this year. The historic halls will look like Christmas.

"The whole place will be decorated," Fout said. "We have a wonderful set of volunteers who decorate here for the holidays."

Staffers at the YWCA are also looking forward to the lights of December.

"It's a lot of fun," said Kerrie Wolf-Piechota, the YW's development assistant. "It's festive, it gets everybody in the mood, everybody in the holiday spirit."

Trees will include the orange-lighted tree decorated by the Zonta International Club of Schenectady - orange is one of the chief colors used by Zonta and the YWCA. A purple-lighted tree will be dedicated to victims of domestic violence.

"Purple is the color for domestic violence," Wolf-Piechota said.

The YWCA's hall will also have a tree full of teddy bears.

"We will be having a 'Teddy Bear Tea' on Dec.16 that's going to be held among the trees," Wolf-Piechota said. "The tea will cost $15 per person  and we're asking for reservations."

Evergreen fans can celebrate the Christmas season at the following festivals of trees:

* Schenectady County Historical Society Festival of Trees, 32 Washington Ave., Schenectady, Saturday through Sunday, Dec. 17. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; $2 for teens; free for children under age 12.

* YWCA Festival of Trees, 44 Washington Ave., Schenectady, Saturday through Sunday, Dec. 17. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6 for adults; free for children under age 12. Note: Admission paid to one Schenectady festival includes admission to the other.

* Saratoga Festival of Trees, Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway. Today, 4 until 10 p.m., $3 for adults, Friday, 2-6 p.m., $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for youngsters age 10 and up; Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children over age 10, free for children under age 10 all festival days.

* Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Women's Club 11th annual Festival of Trees, Ballston Town Hall, 323 Charlton Road, Friday, noon-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. There is no charge for admission but donations are accepted for the club's community projects. Santa entertains on Saturday at 2 p.m.

* Century Club of Amsterdam 26th annual Festival of Trees, 130 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, Saturday through Saturday, Dec. 9, open mornings into early afternoon. General admission is $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; $3 for students.

* North Country Festival of Trees, Queensbury Hotel, 88 Ridge St., Glens Falls, Thursday, "Jingle Bell Jubilee," $75. Friday, sneak preview with holiday lunch, noon-2 p.m., $18; Saturday and Sunday, "Breakfast with Santa," 8-10 a.m., $13; Saturday, "Sugar Plum Ball, 7-9 p.m., $13. General admission is $5 for seniors, $3 for those under age 13. General admission hours are 4-8 p.m. Friday; 10-6 p.m. Saturday; 10-4 p.m. Sunday.

* New York Power Authority's Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center Festival of Trees, 1378 Route 30, Gilboa, Friday through Saturday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Admission is free.

* Berkshire Museum Festival of Trees at the museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., now through Jan. 7; Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, noon-5 p.m. Closed Christmas, New Year's Day. Admission is $13 for adults; $6 for ages 3-17. Free for members and children under 3.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.


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